Mumbai: In a midnight drama at Varsha – the official residence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Raosaheb Danve brought rebel Congress leader Abdul Sattar by chartered plane to meet the CM on Wednesday.
Reportedly, the CM gave Sattar tips that would help the BJP-Shiv Sena candidate Chandrakant Khaire to retain the seat. In return, the CM reportedly assured Sattar a BJP ticket in the assembly elections and suggested he hold on to his candidature in the forthcoming LS polls.
Sattar has filed his nomination as an Independent from the Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency, and by sticking to his decision, he will split the Muslim vote, which may benefit the Sena-BJP candidate. There are around 6 lakh Muslim voters and more than 5.5 lakh Dalit voters, who will play a crucial role in the choice of the LS representative.
According to Sena insiders, four-time Sena MP Khaire may face anti-incumbency. He is looking at a fierce contest from the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen candidate Imtiyaz Jalil, who has the support of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi led by Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar.
“Had the Congress put up a candidate instead of Subhash Jhambad, it would have been victory for them,” claimed a Sena leader. However, the trading community, which supported the Sena until the 2014 polls, is now likely to back Jhambad, who belongs to their community.